In November of 2021, allegations on social media claimed that some lawmakers and government officials obtained fake diplomas. In response, President Sadyr Japarov ordered the State Committee for National Security to launch an investigation to authenticate the degrees of public-sector employees—valid degrees are required for government service. So far, authorities found many officials guilty of degree fraud but only disclosed and punished those within opposition parties—the names of accused who are close to Japarov have not been disclosed. Today the Jogoku Kenesh—the Supreme Council—will resume sessions on the probe to investigate the credibility of some allegations.
The conclusion of parliament elections on the 28th of November was followed by Japarov strengthening his grasp on power through constitutional changes. These included reducing the size of parliament and allowing for reelection to a second term.
Although it is unclear if the probe is a direct attempt to purge opposition members, it will cause significant changes in Kyrgyz politics. Moving forward, expect many opposition leaders to be dismissed from the government. Depending on how Japarov handles his allies who are found in violation, it may indicate a shift in Kyrgyzstan’s government towards one modeled after Putin’s Russia—Kyrgyzstan’s closest ally.
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Marcos is an Analyst who specializes in International Diplomacy and Security. He focuses on significant developments within the MENA region.